Washington REALTORS® Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resource Center

Coronavirus Resources



Apply for Regular Unemployment NOW to Be Able to Seek PUA Later...

Apply for Regular Unemployment NOW to Be Able to Seek PUA Later... 


Under the federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will be implemented in Washington State by the Employment Security Department (ESD). Because PUA is for workers like independent contractors who do not qualify for regular state unemployment, independent contractors should first apply to ESD for regular unemployment benefits. REALTORS® who will be fully or partially unemployed because of the COVID-19 crisis and are interested in seeking PUA benefits should apply NOW for regular unemployment. To apply, you will need to set up a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account at the ESD website here: apply for traditional UIIndependent contractors who apply for regular unemployment will be denied–but obtaining a SAW account, applying for regular unemployment, and being denied are required preliminary steps to then apply for PUA later this month. ESD now estimates that PUA applications can be filed on Monday, April 20. Additional guidance on PUA eligibility and the application process will be available later this week. This will include issues like how independent contractors would demonstrate employment status and income, and the extent to which an independent contractor can partially work and still be eligible for PUA. Washington REALTORS® will provide an update when this new information is available. 

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